Land agents are in Kentucky trying to secure easements for a proposed interstate natural gas liquids pipeline that would go through an estimated 18 counties. And residents of some of those counties are gearing up for a potential legal battle over pollution and safety concerns.
The proposed Bluegrass Pipeline announced by companies in Oklahoma and Texas would connect natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia with export centers on the Gulf Coast.
One proposed path of the pipeline would extend through northern Kentucky southward into Nelson, Larue, Hardin, Meade and Breckenridge counties. Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean Watts had scheduled a meeting with company officials and the public that was to be held Tuesday morning, but the company cancelled, citing an illness and the need to resolve issues related to the pipeline’s potential route through Ohio.
Mary Ann Chamberlain, a Nelson County native whose family owns property in the county, told the Courier-Journal that the proposed route would cut through scenic and sensitive areas of the commonwealth and could break apart and pollute surface and groundwater.
A spokesman for one of the natural gas companies says hundreds of property owners in Kentucky will likely be approached in the coming months with requests for access to survey their land and possibly buy easements along the proposed pipeline path.
A Kentucky lawmaker has filed a bill that would block automatic utility rate increases for power plants that use natural gas.
The Courier-Journal reports Democratic Rep. Jim Gooch of Providence, the chairman of the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee, is sponsoring the measure that would prevent utilities from utilizing a provision in state law called the "fuel adjustment clause", which allows utilities to adjust what it charges customers based on changes in cost of fuel or purchased power.
In an interview with the newspaper, Gooch called the measure a "consumer protection bill."
Gooch represents a House seat that covers Daviess, Hopkins, McLean, and Webster counties.